Ma guilty of selling
By James Wang 王景弘
After getting caught by their clumsy handling of various issues, President Ma
Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his administration have been trying to divert attention by
clamping down on adulterated or mislabeled foods, notably cooking and salad
oils. Government authorities have ordered shops to take all suspect oils off the
shelves, but at the same time Ma goes on selling a whole range of mislabeled
Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), who proudly wears the label of
judicial tough guy, got into trouble for visiting Ma in the middle of the night
and giving him confidential information. Ma and Huang cooked up questionable
accusations aimed at undermining Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), but
now Huang has been indicted on charges of divulging secrets.
Huang remains unrepentant, setting his own standards and confidently saying that
he will not take himself off the shelf unless he is found guilty in court.
Ma claimed that the Wang affair was a matter of principle, taking aim at the
speaker on moral and legal grounds in the hope of shooting him down. Much to
Ma’s surprise, Wang, who has always been tagged as an obedient fellow, has
stubbornly resisted and refused to be taken off the shelf.
Wang’s attitude has peeled off Ma’s gentlemanly label to reveal his true colors.
The president keeps smiling despite his failure to oust Wang, but his grin
cannot mask his ruthless intentions.
Ma’s boastful promise of a “golden decade” was labeled as containing wholesome
ingredients like “liberalization” and “globalization,” but the main ingredient
has turned out to be “Sinicization.”
Ma’s big sellout to China has been a big setback for the economy, but he still
blithely refuses to take his shoddy product off the shelves.
Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) wants to label the Republic of China (ROC)
as what it really is — just Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Although this
might not sit very well with the Constitution and even though it could be a bit
hard to sell in the international community, at least this label clearly
distinguishes our national brand from that of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Ma, on the other hand, claims that the ROC includes Outer Mongolia, which gained
its independence under the name Mongolia in 1920, as well as the PRC, which was
founded in 1949 — even though they are both member states of the UN.
Labeling the ROC as containing all these ingredients is a quack remedy if ever
there was one.
One thing Ma and Chinese leaders have in common is that they are always going on
about the “Chinese nation” — a concept heavily tainted with self-importance and
xenophobia. Nevertheless, when a suicide attack took place at Tiananmen Square
in Beijing last week, China’s public security officials said they suspected the
perpetrators were ethnic Uighurs, rather than members of the all-inclusive
ROC founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) fomented revolution to kick out the
“alien” Manchu rulers of the Qing Dynasty. Only after he and his allies had
succeeded in removing the Manchus from power did he make up the slogan of a
“Chinese nation” that included Han, Manchu and various other ethnic groups.
The “Chinese nation” has no real ethnic or cultural basis. It is only a way of
getting a lot of different people to identify with a single country. Ma’s
arbitrary claim that “the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to
the Chinese nation” is an attempt to force Taiwanese to swallow a fake political
product that has been sitting on the shelf for the past 100 years.
James Wang is a political commentator.
Translated by Julian Clegg